Saturday, March 26, 2016

Spring Dinner Rolls

One of my jobs for Easter dinner this year was rolls. I always had the idea for a light orange-y flavor for dinner rolls in the springtime. I found a recipe and started to follow it but I did NOT get enough sleep last night and several steps in I realized it was for Orange SWEET rolls (like cinnamon rolls, just orange) That's what I get for sleep deprived baking.
Anyway I was able to take the few steps I had already done and create my own recipe for dinner rolls. I did not get the beginning process pictures because I was irritated at myself for not reading the original recipe thoroughly, but it started flowing and they turned out so well I had to share.

5 tsp yeast
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter or vegetable shortening*
2 eggs
5 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 TB orange zest

1/4-1/2 cup butter for brushing

* I don't normally recommend vegetable shortening but in the case of rolls like these butter and shortening are the best 2 choices. Vegetable shortening has the highest melting point so it will hold shapes better, butter is a little lower but it is still ok.  I usually love to sub coconut oil, but I was worried about very low melting point. Maybe I will test that out next time.

Heat the OJ just slightly to about 105 degrees, add in yeast and sugar, stir and allow to sit until foamy.

While you are waiting for that set the milk and shortening on a medium heat and heat until the shortening is melted and the milk is JUST about to boil (don't allow it to get to a full boil!)

Set the entire pan in a shallow pool of ice water and stir until the mixture to come back down to about 105 (no higher than 110)

Add eggs to the foamy yeast mixture and stir, then add the milk mixture.
About 1 cup at a time add in flour and salt. Adding in the zest with the last cup. I changed to my dough blade after cup 3.

Knead by hand or with  a dough blade for 5-7 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place in a greased bowl and turn gently until the dough has a light layer of oil.

Set in a warm draft free location and allow to rise for 60 minutes.

Punch down dough and turn onto floured surface.

Divide into 8 equal balls.

Roll a ball out to about 12 inches . Brush with melted butter and slice into 6 wedges.

Roll each wedge starting on the wide side into a crescent shape and place on a greased baking sheet.

Repeat with remaining dough balls.

Allow to rise 30-45 minutes more.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until they are golden brown.
Pull them from the oven and immediately brush with a little more butter then allow to cool

Friday, March 18, 2016

Blueberry Sloppy Joes

    A sloppy joe with a slightly sweet twist and full of antioxidants! This would be great with turkey or chicken too.

    1 1/2 lbs ground beef
    1 small onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped fine
    1/2 cup tomato paste
    1/3 cup cider vinegar
    1/2 cup water(if you want to kick it up a bit, replace part or all of the water with bourbon!)
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    1 tablespoon molasses
    1 tsp smoked paprika
    pinch of cinnamon
    salt and pepper to taste

    2 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries

In a wide deep pan over medium heat crumble the beef and add onions and garlic.

Cook until a little pink remains then add the jalapeño.

While the meat is finishing mix together the tomato paste, water, sugar, molasses and seasonings.

When the meat has no more pink add in the sauce, mix well 

Add in the blueberries and mix well.

Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium low. 

Simmer for 30 minutes.

Uncover and simmer 5-10 minutes more until the sauce is thickened.

Serve on toasted buns with some provolone cheese!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Roasted Pear and Turkey Pizza with Gorgonzola on Brioche Crust

I needed to use up some pears in my fridge so I was googling around and found some yummy combos to put together!

Makes 2 Pizzas

Brioche Crust:
1 cup warm water
3 TB warm milk
2 tsp active dry yeast
2 ½ TB sugar
1 large egg
3 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
1 TB baking powder
 ½ tsp salt
2 ½ TB unsalted butter, softened

20 oz ground turkey
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
pinch of cinnamon
salt to taste

Caramelized Onions:
1 large sweet onion(mine peeled was about 14 oz)
1 TB unsalted butter
1 TB olive oil
1 TB sugar

2 TB balsamic vinegar

Other Toppings:
2 Large Red or Green D'Anjou Pears, cored and sliced thin, divided
6 oz shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola, divided

Combine warm water, milk sugar and yeast. Allow to sit until foamy.
Beat the egg in a separate bowl, set aside

Combine flour, baking powder and salt and cut in soft butter(I find mixing it in with clean hands is easiest!) until it looks like coarse crumbs.

Stir in yeast water and egg and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 mins by hand, 5-6 in a kitchenaid)

Place in a greased bowl and allow to rise in a warm location until doubled (1-2 hours)

When it is doubled, divide into 2 pieces and stretch over  lightly greased pizza pans. Use a larger pan for a thinner crust or you can leave it smaller for thicker crust. Allow to rise 30 mins more. Then prick all over with a fork and stretch a little more if you like.

While you are waiting for the crust dough to rise you can get your pears roasted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees 
Place slices on a lightly greased baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes until soft and just starting to brown, set aside to cool.

When the crusts are ready bake each one for 7-8 minutes(depending on thickness) until it is light golden. Remove from oven.


You can get the onions and turkey going while your dough is rising the first time.
Heat butter in a pan over high heat, add olive oil as soon as the butter is melted
When it is very hot add sliced onions and sprinkle with sugar. 
Stir constantly until the onions are well browned, reduce heat to low and cover. 
Cook 30 minutes stirring occasionally until they are very tender and browned. In the last 10 minutes or so add the balsamic vinegar.

Combine meat and seasonings and mix well.

Over medium high heat add turkey and crumble. Cook until no pink remains. Drain if necessary.


Brush each crust with a touch of olive oil and sprinkle lightly with garlic powder.

Divide turkey, onions and pears equally , layer turkey and onions on the crust

Sprinkle with cheeses. Then top with the pears.

You can make it to this point and refrigerate it , make sure to take it out 45 mins prior to baking!

Bake at 450 for 10-15 minutes until the toppings are hot and bubbly.

Allow to set for 10 minutes before slicing


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Chicken and Creamy Mango Sauce over Zoodles

I found a delicious sounding recipe on Allrecipes so I decided to put it on my dinner list. As I was making it I changed the method up slightly and gave it my own flair so I thought I would put it here too!

1 lb chicken breast
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger root, minced
1 large mango, peeled, and chopped, divided(peeling tip!)
1 cup heavy cream
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
black pepper
red pepper flakes
grated Asiago cheese  (parm is fine too!)

Season and cook your chicken however you like (I did garlic powder, onion powder and smoked paprika then roasted it) cool, shred and set aside.

In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat, add onion, garlic and ginger root and cook until tender.

Add 1/2 the mango and simmer until everything is soft.

Transfer to a high powdered blender and blend until everything comes into a puree

Add it all back to the skillet with the  heavy cream, mix well.

Add in the remaining chunks of mango and the red pepper slices and the shredded chicken. Season to taste and Heat through.

While that is heating make your zoodles....

I just do a little olive oil and some pepper and garlic powder, then heat them to tender crisp over medium high in a skillet. You can season and cook them whatever way you like.

You can of course put this over regular pasta if you like!

Plate your zoodles, top with a scoop of the mango sauce, sprinkle with Asiago cheese and a shot of red pepper flakes for an extra kick!